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General News of Saturday, 16 September 2017


Parliament reconvenes on 3rd October to discuss Special Prosecutor Bill

Parliament is expected to reconvene on Monday 3rd of october, 2017 after going on recess in August.

Key among things to be discussed in the first week is the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017 which will be laid before the house.

President Akufo-Addo wants legal backing to cede some of the prosecutorial powers of the Attorney-General to another office.

He believes a separate office and a secure tenure of office will give the head of this office, a bold bark and a big bite in chasing down politicians and public officers.

Speaking on Okay FM's 'Ade Akye Abia' programme, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Majority Leader and the Member of Parliament for Suame constituency, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu added that various groups and individuals including Minority Members of Parliament have presented their thoughts on the creation of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017.

The Attorney General and Minster for Justice Gloria Akuffo presented the first draft of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill to stakeholders to ponder over government's 'important' anti-corruption legislation.

She told participants at a meeting in Accra, that government wants their honest and sincere views on the draft before it is laid before parliament later in the year.

"High among Bills to be discussed in the House will be the Special Prosecutor Bill," Hon. Kyei-Mensah added.

Government earlier withdrew the controversial Special Prosecutor Bill from Parliament in July.

This came after the Minority in Parliament challenged the procedure in which the Bill was laid, claiming it was unconstitutional.

The Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, who withdrew the Bill, also withdrew the Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017 without explaining the motive behind his action.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu had argued that the Bill did not fulfill the mandatory 14-day constitutional process for its introduction in Parliament.

He further stated that the since the Bill was gazetted on 14th July, it should have been laid on or after 28th July and not the original date on which it was laid.

But the Majority insisted that the Bill was not a regular one but was laid under the certificate of urgency.